Links 4/15/2023

Can Anything Stop the Feral Hog Invasion? Texas Monthly

Baroque, Purple, and Beautiful: In Praise of the Long, Complicated Sentence LitHub (Anthony L)

For Nietzsche, nihilism goes deeper than ‘life is pointless’ Psyche Ideas. Anthony L: “My view is that nihilism is

New CDC reports finds one in FIVE Americans are living with chronic pain – here’s what you can do about it without turning to prescription meds Daily Mail


Three Years Later, Covid-19 Is Still a Health Threat, 4/12 Nieman Reports (martha r)


Here’s to reviving the ancient practice of silvopasture aeon (Anthony L)

How did solar power get cheap? Part I Brian Potter (resilc)

Florida went under WATER! Heavy Flash Flooding in Fort Lauderdale, USA YouTube (resilc). Amazed this does not happen all the time. If you’ve ever flown in, it looks like the water table is barely below ground surface.

Gas Cars Aren’t Going Anywhere Vice (resilc)


The West vs. the rest? Beijing Review (Robert C)

US to Push Back Against China Economic Coercion at G-7 Meeting Bloomberg

China stalls Antony Blinken’s Beijing visit over ‘spy balloon’ concerns Financial Times

China the Largest Buyer of Chipmaking Machines As Sales Hit An All-Time High The Register

China’s Car Buyers Have Fallen Out of Love With Foreign Brands New York Times (resilc)

China vows not to sell arms to any party in Ukraine war Associated Press

Old Blighty

New checks promise more UK-EU trade friction Financial Times (guurst)

La belle France

France pension reforms: Constitutional Council clears age rise to 64 BBC (Kevin W)

South of the Border

Lula’s Reported Statement About The “Summit For Democracy” Is A Public Relations Spectacle Andrew Korybko

US-led plan to ‘end’ migration through Darien Gap spurs questions Al Jazeera (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

Multipolar world risks new Cold War – IMF chief RT (Kevin W). Gee, and water is wet.

Poland receives ZelenskyPoland receives Zelensky and prepares direct intervention in Ukraine war WSWS

I assume this is not a fake or serious mistranslation. Has been up long enough that I assume it would have been taken down if so:

This provides some confirmation to periodic claims from Dima at Military Summary and others of Ukraine anti-retreat forces shooting Ukraine soldiers who refuse to fight or try to surrender:

Moscow urges Washington to issue visas to Russian delegation to UN events — envoy TASS (guurst). Childish.

Dubai’s largest bank ENBD has started blocking investment accounts of Russians

Ukraine War Day #414: Americans Target Gruzian Judges – Part I Awful Avalanche (guurst)

L’affaire Leaker

Diplomacy Watch: Biden administration in ‘damage control’ after intel leaks Responsible Statecraft

Marjorie Taylor Greene should lose her security clearance after defending Pentagon leaker, Liz Cheney says Independent (Kevin W)


Palestinians face expulsions as Israel tightens hold on West Bank Aljazeera

From Every Side in Palestine, You Are Under Attack.’ NGO Director Ubai Al-Aboudi on Reforming Palestinian Politics DawnMENA

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Uber fares allegedly linked to phone battery levels Brussels Times (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Award Winning CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Breaks Down Inner Workings of America’s Spy Agency Kim Iverson, YouTube. A meaty must-listen.

America faces a two-front war: Russia-China alliance moving ahead at great speed Gilbert Doctorow

Striking American Cities on Short Notice: North Korea Conducts Maiden Launch of First Solid Fuel ICBM Military Watch


Checks & Imbalances: China, Trump And $7 Million Forbes (furzy). Help me. Not that I am defending bad conduct by Trump, but this amounts to beating a dead horse, or more specifically, relitigating a moot issue. This particular sort of grifting, remember, is emoluments. Barred by the Constitution. But only Congress has the authority to go after it. I recall there were cases of foreign countries taking overpriced rooms at Trump hotels, exposed in the press while Trump was in office. But Congress didn’t deign to go after this low-hanging fruit, and private suits were tossed for lack of standing.


Pompeo won’t run for president in 2024 The Hill

Marianne Williamson, Fusing Bernie Sanders and (Early) Jordan Peterson, is Taking Over TikTok Intercept

Top 2024 hopefuls to address NRA convention after shootings Associated Press (resilc)

What Really Happened at Waco New Yorker (furzy)


Supreme Court Briefly Preserves Broad Availability of Abortion Pill New York Times (Kevin W)

Woke Watch

“Anti-woke” Bud Light knockoff is $35 for a six-pack Boing Boing (resilc)

how to slay a magic word cult bad catitude. A different topic, but Jeffrey Sachs makes a similar frontal assault on a magic word, or here, phase: “China human rights abuses.”

Our No Longer Free Press

The US Could Use Some Separation Of Media And State Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Wowsers, from Politico’s European newsletter:

The trip [back to Beijing] also provided me with a fascinating first-hand insight into how European political leaders and their press officers attempt to control and manipulate the media. Since arriving in Brussels a year and a half ago, I have been unpleasantly surprised by the way most media in continental Europe agree to cede editorial control to the powerful politicians they cover. In some countries, such as Poland, it is a legal requirement that interviews are vetted after the fact by the politicians who granted the interview. At its worst, this deceives readers and contributes to a general mistrust of politicians and the media. The Communist Party of China does not pretend to have a free press but it does recognize that media operate differently in other countries. As a foreign correspondent based in China, I may not have often been granted access to political leaders, but when I was there I never experienced the kinds of tactics employed by many European press officers.


Boeing 737 Max deliveries delayed by component problem Guardian

28 State AGs Urge Congress To Pass Stalled ‘Right To Repair’ Bills Techdirt

Fed up by LA pothole, Arnold Schwarzenegger fills it himself Associated Press (resilc). Why not make these naming opportunities?


Jonathan GPT Swift on Jonathan Swift (Ep. 175) Conversations with Tyler. Anthony L: “Dear God, imagine Swift’s reply!”

Company Plans to Ditch Human Workers in Favor of ChatGPT-Style AI Bloomberg

A Computer Generated Swatting Service Is Causing Havoc Across America Vice (resilc)

The Bezzle

Report: Crypto Is A Scam! UPDATE: We Were Wrong, Everyone Buy Crypto! UPDATE: Oops, Crypto Is A Scam! UPDATE: Well, Maybe It’s Not A Scam Now Babylon Bee (BC)

SpaceX’s Starship rocket receives FAA approval for launch CNN

Class Warfare

Active tuberculosis reported at Southern California Amazon facility KTLA (resilc)

Global food giant Cargill cuts ties with slaughterhouse cleaning firm PSSI that hired migrant kids NBC (furzy). If you think that no one at Cargill knew this was happening, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Workers at anti-poverty World Bank struggle to pay bills Associated Press (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Scott D:

Arnold (2001-2020), several times on antidote, and Buddy (2017?-present). Buddy was found in a parking garage as a kitten and was mostly feral. Normally, two male cats won’t bond well, but this one worked out. Buddy has rid our old neighborhood and our new neighborhood of rats and mice. Needless to say, he doesn’t want to be an indoor cat, but he learned about coyotes and cars as a kitten, it seems. I didn’t know a cat could climb a brick wall, but I saw him do it.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. R.S.

    Re: Podolyak

    I assume this is not a fake or serious mistranslation.

    It’s not. The translation follows his words. A unique chance to “physically cleanse” many pro-Russian ones.

    The wider context is that he was talking about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He compared it to a “festering ulcer” that has to be “surgically closed”. “I emphasize it, there must be only one canonical Ukrainian church in Ukraine”.

    Here’s an alternative translation of his interviews into English:

    A link in Russian:

    1. The Rev Kev

      What they guy was saying I have heard coming from the ultra-nationalist for nearly a decade, even on Ukrainian TV. They have to tell everybody what they want to do which amounts to the destruction of any Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, etc cultural elements in their country and the murder of any that oppose them. And they deliberately target civilians as well as they are seen as the enemy. They talk about re-occupying Crimea but if that ever happened, it would be a massacre. A small data point. The Ukrainians are desperately short of artillery rounds and need to conserve what they have for their coming offensive. And yet just yesterday they targeted a civilian settlement called Yasinovataya that had no military forces present and killed four civilians. And that was just one settlement of 23 that they attacked Friday. They just can’t help themselves.

      1. Sibiriak

        ‘Everything Russian’ must be eradicated in Crimea – Zelensky aide

        Russian culture will be off-limits in Crimea if Ukraine regains control of the peninsula, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has claimed. Podoliak added Kiev is planning on meting out legal punishments to Russian passport holders and other “traitors” living in the region.

        “As soon as we enter, we must eradicate everything Russian in Crimea,” Podoliak stated in an interview with US government-controlled RFE/RL published on Wednesday. He argued that the predominantly Russian-speaking region should instead become part of the “Ukrainian cultural space.”

        Acknowledging that his views are among the most radical within the leadership in Kiev, Podoliak insisted that Crimean residents would not be able to read Russian literature or watch Russian movies, let alone speak Russian in public. Instead, the language would only be permitted in private, the official added […]

        * * * *
        “We’re going to have to break it all down,” he said with respect to Crimea’s Russian identity […]

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Hey, it’s a tradition. The German Nazus kept most of the camps going up until a few days before they were captured.

        1. Mildred Montana

          The Nazis’ zeal to kill gratuitously is perhaps unparalleled in modern history. At least Stalin had his higher ideological, political, and economic motives, crazy as they might have been.

          The SS had no such motives. They had only the desire to cover up their crimes before the liberation of the camps (which were going to be discovered anyway) and to continue their sadistic torments of already half-dying prisoners. So it condemned hundreds of thousands of them, only a few days before the end of the war, to death marches and long cold fatal rides in open railcars.

          Germany was, truly, a nation, a ruling class, a people gone mad. And I still have a hard time believing it was only eighty years ago.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            My earlier comment seems to have gotten lost, but just to restate, I’m sure if Stalin-era USSR were collapsing like Germany did, we would’ve seen many similar scenes. Stalin I think did have his higher motives, as did Hitler (about as “crazy” – really just subjectively utopian and pseudo-rational), but the people in charge of the camps were often a different story. You see a lot of non-ideological cruelty in any concentration camp.

      3. irrational

        Exactly right. They also allegedly mysteriously find shells to kill soldiers about to surrender (story on one of the T-gram channels (probably Slavyangrad) yesterday that a unit commander had radioed to surrender, Russian side arranged a ceasefire on that section of the front, but unit shelled before they could surrender). Sick if true.

      4. Daniil Adamov

        Yes, this is all entirely predictable and humdrum. What I am slightly curious about is how many years would pass before any of the good people in the West would start to get a little nervous about this form of self-expression.

      5. The Rev Kev

        As I said – They just can’t help themselves.

        ‘The Ukrainian forces targeted central Donetsk with multiple launch rocket system fire early on Sunday morning, with several projectiles landing in close vicinity of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, forcing an evacuation and disrupting the Orthodox Easter celebrations.’

        Trying to kill Easter worshipers? Par for the course for them. They killed one person and injured several others. What is interesting is that they used up to 20 MLRS rockets to do this. I thought that all such launches had to be cleared through the Pentagon first?

        1. digi_owl

          Lots of crap flying round in that region lately.

          Someone over on Reddit claims a similar attack was preformed by Russia, but the only “evidence” given is a bloodied body bag.

          And yet another story involving Russia is making the rounds in media, but the problem there is that the Ukrainian source claims it was done using S-300 rockets. But S-300 is a SAM system, not rocket artillery.

          1. Paradan

            S-300 has a 150kg fragmentation warhead. Command team can give it a bearing and then crash it into the ground at the target.(90% sure on this)

            1. R.S.

              It’s done through a “virtual target”. Guiding the interceptor as if there were a target hovering low above the point, and then issuing a command to detonate. It’s more like a “standard emergency” procedure, say, for battery defense. Pretty short-range, I don’t recall the numbers but somewhere in the range of 20-40 km. Using it as a “real MLRS” is kinda possible in theory, but I’ve never heard about it. Lots of tinkering that can’t be done in the field (disabling self-destruct modules, installing an impact fuze), and all you get is a costly rocket with a lousy CEP, several hundred (if not thousand) meters at best.

              1. Polar Socialist

                I assume the short range is due to the missiles being either semi-active or active radar homing type, so command guidance only gets them so far.

                Probably just merely going to the general direction, the seeker complaining loudly it can’t get a lock on the assigned target.

                1. Paradan

                  most SAMs and A2A missiles burn up all their fuel in the first 1/3 of flight, after that they coast. so if you dont go up high, you lose range.

            2. Scylla

              There are surface to surface S-300 configurations. S-300 is a pretty big family of weapons.

    2. some guy

      So then he was not calling for the extermination of all Russians throughout the entire country of Russia, the way many repliers to that interview seemed to me like they were trying to say he was.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        It is tempting to rip such juicy quotes out of context, I guess. Personally I think they are interesting enough in context.

      2. R.S.

        Nay, just labelling religious dissenters as “pro-Russian” and getting rid of them, like, you know, physically. Nothing to see here, please disperse.

      3. Polar Socialist

        Technically a “cultural genocide” is, besides a war crime, something the ICC should prosecute if the state is unwilling to.

        Unfortunately, I hear ICC is busy persecuting people who organize culture camps for kids targeted by the said cultural genocide.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Poland receives Zelensky and prepares direct intervention in Ukraine war” article at-

    The Polish leadership may want to order the military into the Ukraine but if they do, they will be in a war zone and fair game for Russian attacks. I doubt that any other NATO countries will be keen to join them. The only one that comes to mind are the Romanians, the British and the US but each would have their own problem trying to get their troops actively involved in this war. Maybe that is why the Russians have not yet committed those 300,000 troops into battle yet. Just in case some idiots tried to do something like this. All I can say is good luck trying to keep those supply lines open to any invading troops.

    1. Benny Profane

      “Maybe that is why the Russians have not yet committed those 300,000 troops into battle yet. Just in case some idiots tried to do something like this.”

      Bingo. Putin sees the big picture.

      Laughable that the emaciated British military could be considered a factor, and we’re having big problems finding volunteer soldiers. Imagine the 180 turn of public opinion in both countries if they both decide to draft young people for all this.

    2. Kouros

      The Romanians really do not have a reputation for being crazy, like the Poles or the Ukrainians. Their political objective of re-uniting Moldova with Romania (and with the western province of Moldova) does not require going to war. As for the territories that were in the past Romanian and are now under Ukrainian control, I don’t see how a war with Russia would solve that problem…

      1. Daniil Adamov

        There is Transnistria, though, which I would think would be part of the maximum reclamation goal?

        Not that I buy the European countries having conscious, overt territorial expansion agendas at this stage. I’m not even sure they are prepared to go as far as Erdogan did in Syria, i.e. limited local takeover without formal annexation. That would go against all taboos, and would be enormously complicated and probably not worth the bother as far as most of their elites are concerned.

    3. Procopius

      Keeping the supply lines open is not the problem. The problem is finding ammunition and equipment to put into the supply lines. Neither America nor all the NATO states together can supply as many shells as Ukraine is currently shooting, much less enough to support an attack. And as for introducing their troops into the conflict — the kinzhal hypersonic missile can be launched from a submarine fifty miles off the east coast of the U.S. Americans have never seen the results of real war. Now they can.

      1. digi_owl

        In particular if they try to keep China out of the loop. I understand that even the ejection seat in most US jets these days have reams of wavers attached to them regarding Chinese sourced parts. Meaning that USA can’t even build such a seat on its own any more, thanks to all the industry that has been offshored.

    4. Wyatt Powell

      Romania will take Northern Maramues*, Bukovina(Chernvisti Oblast) and Bujeac.

      Along with reunification.

      This will happen like dominos once Russia is in the outskirts of Odessa. The justification will be protecting ethnic Romanians and returning historic terrortories. Ya’ll drink the “Putin is crazy” line too easy. He cares nothing for a few Western Provinces of a non-existant country. He wants secure borders far from striking distance of Moscoe and St. P…. period. Anything else is Western Propoganda and projection.

      Somehow youve forgotton that Western Ukraine isnt intertested in Russia the way the East is. Putin DOESNT WANT THESE PLACES. The more he takes the more insurgents he is gonna have inside New Russia. Let the West deal with them. I dont even think it will cause a fuss. In Lviv everyday the Ukies beg for Poland to Annex them!

      He would not start a wider war over something so trivial. (Now see something like the Romanians taking Odessa, or Poland taking Kieve would be a Red Line and slap in the face, Historically/Reputationally)

      Speaking of the Poles they will take Ivano-Frankisk and Lviv.

      *Part of Zakarpatti, known in English as Transcarpathia, if you image search the region you notice a HUGE Hungarian majority along the border (shocking I know). NOW for all you Westerners. Romania has a large Hungarian minority in Ardeal (Transylvania) but I have my suspicions that since its so close and so concentrated along the border, the Ro. Giv would hesitaant to deal with them. And will “gift” the border vilages and 2-3 towns to Hungary. Poland will take most of North “Zakarpatti”. As mentioned first that leave the Northern Maramues for Romania

      Russia will do a “Meltdown” from Belarus (which is in Union State with Russia, will be a Russia Federal republic in my lifetime, mark my words) see the first weeks of the war (March to Kiev) for an example of this “Meltdown”.

      This cuts off Poland ffom taking Volyn and Rivne… I admit Ternopil is a hairy point. Im not sure who will make it there first. I suspect it will be Russians Eastern border.

      Now for the two hotest takes im gonna make.

      1. Early in this war Russia abandoned “Snake Island” as a sign of “Good faith”. How it was sold at the time. No population. A small military base. Its use its strategic. I think Romania will occupy the island. Its National Secruity (and not the crybaby, BS way the Americans use it)

      2. Moldavas Territory will ALL go to Romania. This inlcudes the Gaguzia, who will be unceremoniously crushed. And Transdnsitria. Once Russia is finished in Meltipol on its way to Odessa. Ukr troops will be ordered out of Bujeac (Budjak/Southern Odessa Oblast) and combine with Western forces and hit Tiraspol from the back. This will Kill Russian loyalist in the area and allow Romania to come in.

      TL:DR you underestimate Poland and Romania. And have been drinking too much Mainstream Kool-Aid.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        “He wants secure borders far from striking distance of Moscoe and St. P…. period.”

        Then I guess we’ll need to invade Estonia next? Much closer to St. Petersburg than Ukraine is to either city, and an actual member of NATO to boot. Come to think of it, the same now goes for Finland.

        1. JBird4049

          With the warning that my understanding of the current situation in that area is nil, I would think that neither Finland or Estonia truly want to annoy the Russian Bear. Whatever people say, the American Eagle ain’t going to save them if they act stupid enough to get invaded.

          But invading two small, non-threatening, and intact countries would give Russia heartburn as well as creating the very dangers to Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Soviets did invade Finland at the start of the Second World War, ostensibly to get some extra territory for protecting Leningrad, but while they did win the war, it was an unpleasant experience for them. Remember that it is the foolish who start wars expecting them to go as expected.

          But common sense and human decency seems to lacking in much of the area and what do I know? My government probably is trying really hard to expand the whole war anyways.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Indeed. My point is that everything you say also goes for what is happening in Ukraine, at least if it is considered from the perspective of Russian security interests.

          2. Polar Socialist

            Neither Estonia or Finland are in control of their own foreign policy anymore. All Washington has to is to talk about certain types of missiles in either country and tensions would start racking up.

            Both wars between Finland and Soviet Union in 1939-1944 and the occupation of Estonia in 1940 were mostly due to serious lack of trust between these countries. There are tomes written about the diplomatic ballet they all went trough Soviet Union trying to build a common security system and Finland and the Baltic countries trying to avoid any.

            Does that sound familiar? I don’t think the security calculus has changed that much in 80+ years.

            1. digi_owl

              Speaking of Finland, i just read that the new government is eager to allow USA to set up a base there.

              Exciting times ahead…

  3. Jeff Stantz

    “For Nietzsche, nihilism goes deeper than ‘life is pointless’”

    Great read.

    The last man I know who actually lived like Nietzsche was U.G Krisnamurti (Not J. Krishnamurti). If you want to understand what Nietzsche was talking about in more simple terms, take a look and what U.G. has to say about it all:

    You love fear. The ending of fear is death, and you don’t want that to happen. I am not talking of wiping out the phobias of the body. They are necessary for survival. The death of fear is the only death.

    1. Lee

      His rejection of metaphysical conceptual constructs is very Zen, which I suspect he would deny. Having been born to wealth and never having to work for a living causes me to wonder how applicable to people not so fortunate are his teaching that there is nothing he or anyone can teach anybody else regarding fundamental existential questions. Of course, he negates his fundamental premise by speaking at all. But then so does Zen, which with a great body of literature promotes a liberating insight beyond words and concepts.

    2. Kouros

      An oldie but goodie:

      “I must not fear.
      Fear is the mind-killer.
      Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
      I will face my fear.
      I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
      And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
      Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    1. anahuna

      Thank you for that. Not that the idea is unfamiliar to those who read here at NC, but the succinct, uncompromising way Hopkins states it is breathtaking:

      “The Left — and I mean “the Left” broadly, so liberals, and both serious and Brooklyn leftists — are in an ideological double-bind. Either they align with an increasingly totalitarian GloboCap or they align with the reactionary backlash against it.

      They can’t align with the reactionaries, because a lot of them are … well, you know, somewhat bigoted, or they believe in God, or they object to drag queens rubbing themselves all over kids. Many of them own multiple firearms (i.e., the reactionaries, not the drag queens) and fly giant American flags outside their homes (or whatever flags they fly in Great Britain). Many of them voted for Donald Trump, or Brexit, or the AfD here in Germany, or the National Rally in France, or The Brothers of Italy. These are not BBC/NPR-listening people. These are not pronoun-using people. These are scary working-class people.

      So the Left has aligned with GloboCap, which, after all, is still decoding all those nasty despotic values (i.e., racism, and other forms of bigotry), and is opposing dictators and religious zealots, and is spreading “democracy” all across the planet. You might think I am being facetious. I am not. Global capitalism is still doing that. Which I support, as do all liberals and leftists.

      The catch is, as global capitalism continues to do that, and makes a big show of doing that, it is also going totalitarian. It is not decoding those despotic values out of the goodness of its heart. What it is doing is establishing ideological uniformity. The problem is, it has no ideology. All it knows how to do is decode values, transforming societies into markets and everything in them into valueless commodities. Which it is doing in totalitarian fashion. The Nazis referred to this process as “Gleichschaltung,” the synchronization of all elements of society according to official ideology. That is what is happening, currently, globally.

      GloboCap has begun the transition from a “reality” of competing ideologies, sovereign nation-states, cultures, and values to a new, supranational, post-ideological, eventually trans-human, globalized “reality,” and the message is, “you are either with us or against us.”

      1. marym

        It ought to be possible to formulate this type of critique of the totalitarian agenda of GlobalCap without the author’s trivializing of the authoritarian, eliminationist agenda of the right or characterizing a movement that has a substantial history and precedent as a backlash against the current day leftish-whatevers.

        The assumption that the totalitarian, exclusionist right is “pushing back against the advance of global-capitalism and its ideology, whether they know what they are resisting or not” is very generous. Are there people more closely aligned with that side making a comparable argument to them about environmentalists or reparations advocates?

      2. IMOR

        I read it as ‘GloboCop’ at first- which to me is the threshold problem.
        Thanks for the excerpt. No one seems to understand coalition building, single issue/bill work, or even horse trading (as oppksed to media posturing followed by immediate sellout or kowtow to ‘leadership’) anymore. You can’t get anything done until you get something done.

        1. JBird4049

          Sixty years ago the “New Left” was IIRC based in UC Berkeley with its reason for being free speech and civil rights, but then wondered off into permanent agitation over everything, while mostly avoiding poverty and class. Maybe, I should say that the Free Speech Movement faction hived off from the rest of the Left while becoming very popular among moderates and regular conservatives. Free speech is, or rather was, important historically despite the many, often very successful, censorship of whatever regime was in control.

          Wokerati are a continuation of this I think. Not the insanity of identity, but the practice of “standing up to power,” but standing up in the street and whining, or sending a tweet, email, or letter. All alone, but strong and steadfast in their righteous indignation.

          What made the the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s work was an extremely broad coalition of civic and religious organizations including from the very left to the broad middle to a few conservative ones; all it took was being willing to possible die and very likely beaten and arrested, fighting against or at least ignoring the traditional leadership, including the and old school liberal leadership of church and temple, civil rights advocates, the larger Black community, as well as political and business leaders.

          The people in the Civil Rights Movement were often enemies, or at least not friends, outside of it, but they were all against Jim Crow. They were willing to work with others with whom they often disagreed with, to suffer opprobrium, assault, arrest, even possibly their very deliberate murder.

          I can make a similar story with the Abolitionist Movement. Just before the beginning of the Civil War effectively there were heavily armed gangs of violent slavers kidnapping people throughout the North and Midwest along with death squads all fighting the growing anti-slavery sentiment.

          Really, if you were white and kept quiet, you had little to fear, but saying anything against the peculiar institution, forget about physically doing anything about it, invited violence and death, not necessarily just against you. Compared to today, most people of the time were extremely racist, and did not believe in equal rights, but they did not believe that human beings should be considered and treated as property. Increasingly through the 1850s, people refused to be cowed, which got them increasingly heavy legal actions against them and physical danger.

          When the repression failed, and the Southern leadership realized that they were not going to get everything they wanted, they pulled their states from the Republic.

          I wonder how either the increasingly authoritarian government and police of our time as well as the Wokerati and IdPol, even some of the actual Leftists in these United States would compare to either side in the late Antebellum. Somehow, I do not think either the Abolitionists or Pro-Slavery factions would have been impressed.

          So, somehow, it has been decided by some that just being vocal, to cancel others, often for just having unapproved ideas, is the Way to Fight Evil. However, actually doing anything uncomfortable with the unwashed because they might have bad thoughts to be able to fight true suffering like climate change, homelessness, hunger, disease, death, and poverty is just not the thing to do.

          1. digi_owl

            “all it took was being willing to possible die”

            And die they did, one they started speaking in terms of class rather than race.

            1. JBird4049

              There was violence in both the Civil Rights Movement and the nascent fight against poverty. Just done with a different focus by different people. The leaders of the faction focused on class and cross racial movements such as MLK, RFK, Malcom X, and Fred Hampton often by police sometimes with FBI assistance as with the last two; the participants in the Civil Rights Movement in the South were the ones getting beaten, arrested, and kill both by the local cops and the locals themselves.

              Racism supported the local power structure, which got local resistance against the low level members of the Civil Rights Movement. The class division supported the national power structure and could only be broken by a alliance of all races across classes in the struggle against poverty and racism. Only a relative few reformers understood this and even fewer had the credibility, charisma, and competence to form and lead a successful reform movement.

              However, Washington and its backers didn’t want to write the check MLK talked; with fewer people understanding the real problems of the nation and fewer leaders able to create a multi race, class, and religious coalition, it much easier for the federal government to kill the movement by killing or imprisoning the leaders. The survivors either retired, rotted in prison, or were co-opted like the Black Misleadership Class. The surviving movements like Womens Liberation, Civil Rights, and Free Speech were all crippled either by having them expelling working and even middle class women from Women’s Liberation or replacing the leaders with people of more limited vision. See Gloria Steinem for an example.

              This also happened to the Union Movement during the 1950s when its leaders were induced to expel first the communists, the socialists, and finally anyone who could be labeled as fellow travelers. The communists and socialists were the best organizers and recruiters for the union movement The various unions were also encouraged to be whites only even if they were integrated.

              The problems our society had in 1968 did not go away in 1975. They were still there as was many of the same people trying to fix them. However, those efforts were blocked by the regime. First by the security apparatus of the FBI and local police with an assist from business leaders and the CIA. Then after the Powell Memo, corporations and the wealthy finished it.

              I could say that fewer people were imprisoned or murdered in ending the Poor People’s Campaign than in the Civil Rights Movement, but maybe the injuries to the nation was much greater for I see that this was the start of the atomization of society and the destruction or neutering of the many social organizations, societies, and clubs including the churches and temples.

              Destroying the many ways people get together, even for a beer or tea, or bowling means destroying the people’s ability to connect and create change. When the local do-gooders’ society is taken over by college educated people who often have gotten financial backing that then locks out the locals. Much of this comes from the growing corruption and wealth disparity, but it started by violently suppressing the earlier movements, organizations, and unions of which many still exist. It’s all connected.

      3. Mike

        One of the driving forces behind this Gleichschaltung is the absolute necessity of a total market- everything should be for sale or given a value which can be bet upon, manipulated, etc. This is a desperate drive that has a finality to it, with no-holds-barred, take no prisoners as the only principle. To me, it’s a final solution that leaves us with , as Hopkins says, the choice of an opposition totally unpalatable to the broader Left, and to its cheerleading squad that makes money from that cheering.

        I am no supporter of either side, although I take great joy in the US taking one on the chin. However, the right-wing emphasis upon neo-liberal “wokeness” and gay culture (as if that were the main drive of this total solution) just resonates with the stupidest aspects of American and European culture, and sets the world up for a counter-final solution in no way supportable by any “Left”, leaving the great problems of finance, corruption, and class structure untouched. The choice, unfunnily, is between the one who would steal your wallet and the one who would steal your wallet… but a little bit later.

    2. Carolinian

      I’m normally not a big fan of his somewhat repetitive columns but I’d say this is spot on. He’s saying the defeat of Marxism’s putative standard bearer–the USSR– has left “the left” with no ideology at all other than a kind of fake realism that worships money as the organizing principle of our societies and the more obvious forms of racism and ignorance as the convenient antagonist. And they aren’t even honest about it since they claim they don’t worship money when they really do. As Yves would say they’ve been “econned.”

      So I what I would say is that compared to the money religion the old timey Christian values aren’t looking so bad although there was vast hypocrisy in the application of those. What our era really boils down to is a great deal of lying including lying to ourselves.

    3. Lexx

      I’m a little surprised now the Washowski’s didn’t make a Matrix prequel. How did humanity end up plugged into pods having their energy harvested by a vast computer complex? There must have been some resistance; it didn’t happen overnight.

      Funny how those dystopian stories so often begin with The End for humanity and so rarely include the struggle of millions of humans unwilling to go down without a fight.

        1. Lexx

          Thank you, Terry, I have heard zip about this… but it is Japanese anime and I was probably looking for live action. I’m not much of an anime fan, but I like animation (as one of those Saturday morning cartoon kids). I’m on Season 5 of ‘The Clone Wars’.

          I’ve checked it out on Amazon and it looks like I can watch it for free. So I know what I’ll be watching while Husband it away. Thanks again!

          1. digi_owl

            Sadly US importers have done anime a disservice, by trying to make everything seem like a Disney cartoon.

            Thus they will for the most part pick the most childish shows. And even when they don’t they will dub over them with childish voices. This even when the topic is very serious and the characters are clearly adults.

            I think NC comments have in the past highlighted the kind of culture clash that Princess Mononoke went through when imported to US shores. To the point that the Japanese director sent over a katana with the message “no cutting!”.

            1. Lexx

              There are the work arounds that now that you mention it, may have been part strategy. The Last Airbender started out clearly for kiddies and ‘grows up’ at the end of the series. By then Nickelodeon had hooked a generation of viewers they’d lose if they dumbed it down.

              I watched the series a few years ago and bought a couple of Uncle Ihro t-shirts and if I wear one of them out in public I’ll invariably get some recognition from a former kid now an adult, ‘Love your t-shirt!’ It’s like a secret club I stumbled into.

              I’ve been working my way through the Star Wars timeline. I’m guessing that animation was the cheaper option for linking up the back stories for minor characters and less fleshed-out ideas, and therefore profitable to Disney+. I’m noticing the same formula, the progression from kiddie cartoon to older more hardened characters. In my day, cartoon characters didn’t mature.

              1. digi_owl

                Heh, true. Back in the day both cartoons and otherwise would resolve things within the half hour allotted for a single episode. Also allowed the same shows to run for onto a decade.

                1. Terry Flynn

                  Totally tangential point but makes me smile to this day. The bean counters at WB insisted all Looney Toons cartoons come in a certain budget. So they did….. In the “official books”

                  Unofficially Mel Blanc and Chuck Jones were churning out Road Runner cartoons for practically nothing and using the freed up resources to do passion projects…. Thus we got the insanely overbudget but iconic “What’s opera doc?” cartoon which is now preserved for posterity in US Library of Congress.EVERYONE can sing this.

                  1. Lexx

                    ‘You’re my kind of guy… let me straighten your tie… and I… will dance… for you.’

                    Those were ‘passion projects’? Easily the most memorable and quotable. Notice I didn’t ask which ones? We know.

                    1. Terry Flynn

                      Yep! It’s the third of 3 bugs bunny cartoons to be preserved. Allegedly it was popular but not a “huge hit” upon initial release but I remember watching it on UK TV in 1970s when it had become a “must watch” event.

                      Allegedly Chuck Jones had a big ego but Mel Blanc was by far the most successful voice actor who managed to work with him in a genuinely collaborative manner. The “good ol’ days”! ;)

        2. Kouros

          Even the Movie Matrix has a couple of minutes describing how the machines, deprived of solar power by human geoengineering (don’t remember whether they were nukes or not) resorted in using humans as batteries…

          1. digi_owl

            Originally the script had humans being used as processors, but the studio decided it was too cerebral for the US audience.

            Never mind that WB has now managed to completely vipe out the anti-capitalist message of the original (agent Smith’s spiel about humanity being a disease eating the planet was a big deal back then) thanks to the forth installment.

    4. some guy

      Where CJ Hopkins says ” values-decoding”, I am guessing he means what American English ( “Gringlish”) would say as ” values-erasing” . . . . as in ” tapes erasing”.

      If that is a correct translation from BritEnglish into AmerEnglish, then it makes perfect sense to me.

  4. Louis Fyne

    ” low birth rates. We really are facing down a demographic nuclear winter, inability to form families is clearly one of the worst problems for young people and yet we remain oblivious.”

    US hit a 1.8 fertility rate in the mid-70’s. Fertility modestly rose in the late 80’s due to higher fertility rates among immigrants.

    But with every recession since 2000, rates have been taking hit, after hit. 2008/9 recession and Covid were the straws that broke the camel’s back.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      While the decline in birthrate is concerning to the extent it’s a symptom of environmental decline and social dissolution, this demographer was just too much for me to make through an hour. Another maroon as far as I’m concerned, living 100 years ago, when nations frantically tried to outbreed one another to provide cannon fodder for wars and a reserve labor force to keep wages down. And, of course, to support GDP growth. I did make it far enough into the interview to hear him argue that reducing consumption is more important than population reduction when it comes to the climate catastrophe. At least he got that right.

      I’d like to hear him respond to this chart of human vs. livestock vs. wild animals biomass. We are radically changing the Earth, and doing so at an increasing rate. And considering that we are animals too, the massive decline in the wild animal population is something that will catch up with us before long.

    2. Chris Smith

      Low birthrates are the thing that will stop mass deaths from famine, disease, and war – the inevitable conditions when a species overshoots the carrying capacity of its environment. I get disappointed whenever I hear some “expert” or other talking about the need to increase birthrates.

      1. digi_owl

        Because the whole post-war debt/pension system is hinged on the post-war baby boom continuing into infinity.

    3. JP

      Hilarious! We’re all gonna die from Floods, Fire, Famine,….low birth rates

      Wait, if the birth rate drops my property value will also. OMG there will be dis-inflatiion. Who will buy all the crap?

      1. JP

        Addendum: The biggest bubble, the one that blows all the rest, is the population bubble. The bigger we blow it the more detritus will be left behind when it finally bursts. Burst it will because, as mentioned above, we have exceeded the carrying capacity. It will be a hard landing. The minor supply chain disruption that has caused so much economic fallout is nothing compared to the chaos that would ensue from a failure of the energy supply lines that empower everything we take for granted. That can be easily achieved by courting political chaos but there are a lot of potential tripping points for the big pop that get more critical every day.

        My brother in law and his too fertile wife visited yesterday. It was OK for an hour or two then she couldn’t stand it any longer and out came the photos and pride at how many grand children were being produced and disdain for the ones who were not contributing enough. Now these are all self supporting individuals. Much preferable to the product of forced birthing that the “pro-life” set would saddle us with. But as I am being compelled to look at baby pictures (they all looked like babies) I’m thinking that this is the root of tribalism, caring only for your bloodline. I will add that these relatives also worship a personal god that approves of their world view and it’s a world view that dominates the society we live in.

      2. Objective Ace

        Your property value won’t decline because of immigration. There’s a huge untapped reserve of would be immigrants should population fertility rates continue to fall

      3. digi_owl

        Nah, property values are driven by the bank’s willingness to lend.

        There are places in the world already where you can get a large estate for a song, but only if you are willing to live like a complete recluse (or spend all that you saved, and more, on travel expenses).

        1. Harold

          A large estate or castle or old house requires a ton of expensive maintenance. That is probably why it was for sale for a song.

    4. QuantumSoma

      The question isn’t whether below replacement rates are good: they’re necessary in the long run for obvious environmental reasons. The question is who pays the consequences for lower economic growth rates. This will only turn into a “demographic nuclear winter” for those forced to pay that cost.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Capitalism won’t work obviously, but there are steady-state possibilities.

        Who pays the cost should be those who can afford to pay the cost and who are the biggest carbon emitters.

    5. some guy

      Low birth rates are the least violent least misery-based glide path I can imagine to reaching a sustainable human population level.

      De-birthing our way down seems more humane than Jackpotting our way down.

  5. griffen

    Waco and what really happened. This happened during second semester my sophomore year, and it became something to follow the articles whenever I found time; this was harder to do pre-Internet too! Seriously it took a minimal effort to enter the college library and find the newspaper rack.

    Recently on Netflix, there was a 3 episode series revisiting what happened. This article delves into some details, but watching the series it is clear the agencies on site were seemingly at odds from the jump. Koresh believed he was the Messiah, so that is also a seriously messed up individual.

    1. flora

      From what I remember reading then in the press was the feds were at odds with local law enforcement, too. Local LE didn’t have any problem with the people in the Davidian compound. So why were the feds gung-ho to take them out? Because of child abuse occurring there, is one reason cited. Except… all the kids were killed in the fed’s attack. The feds brought in a tank to knock down the house walls. A tank! Thanks, B. Clinton.

      Meanwhile, in other news of that era, five-year-old Elian Gonzales (sp?) was “rescued” from his Florida relatives’ home by a heavily armed swat team in full body armor. Thanks, B. Clinton.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And don’t forget Attorney General Janet Reno. The biggest red flag for me about this whole episode was when only after two weeks after that fire, they sent in a bulldozer to destroy what was basically an active crime scene.

        1. flora


          And since I’m remembering that era, I remember the huge panic ginned up in the press and pols about supposed Satanic Cults using child sacrifices. (You think I’m kidding.) People were put in prison on bs charges. Remember the McMartin Preschool case? Lawd.

          1. flora

            errata: the so-called Satanic Panic was in the Reagan era, not Clinton’s.

            Interesting how easily and how quickly the press could create a panic back then. That was before the internet and citizen journalism questioning the ‘official story’.

            1. Louis Fyne

              there was questioning The Narrative back then.

              But it was in the AM radio wilderness late at night, dealing with Trilateral Commission, the Rockefellers, bar codes, issue of the day, etc.

              Would be interesting to listen to a random past episode with today’s perspective

          2. skippy

            I lived in Manhattan Bch at the time of the McMartin thingy … and yeah it was like watching a modern day reenactment of a witch mob trial. Then at the end of the day it came out that the detectives and DA office were basically foaming the runway with very questionable methods in child psychology.

            Can still hear the quiet screams about how could this happen in our fair city … but hay it sold lots of newspapers and TV news air time for advertising income … hay everyone freak out and stay tuned ….

            1. Scottd

              Lived in MB a few blocks away during the same period. Neighbors being accused of child molestation because of where they parked their car, and DAs willing to walk the perp. It got so bad you could be accused for even making eye contact with a child, so you didn’t. Imagine growing up in a world where the only adults that would talk to you were your parents .

        2. Questa Nota

          Physical evidence bears witness that is hard to contradict, therefore must be eliminated. Worked in Waco, then at the World Trade Center. Game plan is to work quickly while there is still the confusion and fog-of-war to distract observers and even journalists. Subsequent investigations have to indulge in speculation and tea leaf reading in the absence of forensics, chain-of-custody and even Scientific Methods with those pesky hypothesis tests.

      2. griffen

        From the above Netflix series, there was one survivor interviewed, I think she was 9 at the time and agents had negotiated for her to be released. She comes across well in the series, not defending Koresh but reckoning with the loss of her entire family and also commenting on the lack of adults doing better than the ultimate result. Separately, there was a decidedly different survivor’s story and point of view from an adult and mother; individuals that followed a powerful leader such as Koresh seemingly still under his influence, to this day.

        1. JBird4049

          Koresh was slimy, and he should have gone to prison, but who did the killing here? From what I understand, he was standing in his front doorway unarmed when he got shot. The initial raid by the ATF is suspect, very likely done with bogus evidence, and was done in a completely militarized way.

          Compared to the Federal leadership at the DOJ/ATF/FBI he comes off much, much better, which is not only awful, but it would help in his continued popularity. Honestly, if I had been a Branch Davidian, I might still be a follower because of this.

          1. skippy

            I remember reading around that time that ATF were watching Koresh and even would talk to him personally when going into town, something about hanging out at a range and very candid talk about when are you guys coming.

            The best bit is how they could have arrested Koresh for a long time without any means to barricade himself and his followers in the complex. Which then begs the question about wanting a grand show for national TV/media.

      3. truly

        If I heard correctly, Elian now serves in the Cuban govt assembly. Nominated by his local community.

    2. Bruno

      Typical of THE NEW YORKER. No mention at all of the great bible scholar James Tabor (Uof NC, author “The Jesus Dynasty” who was in direct theological discussion with Koresh, who repeatedly pleaded with the feds to take Koresh’s theological concerns seriously, and who was constantly and totally rejected by them

      1. Wukchumni

        A week ago somebody on here advised that we carry a bible at all times, and please make sure it’s the King James Version in case you come into contact with evangs.

        Its difficult to take theological concerns seriously…

        1. JTMcPhee

          I think broadly speaking, the spectrum of evangs have their own optimized texts of the Holly Bibble (c). KJV problematical for Prosperity Preachers, inter alia.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          ive carried around a KJV…placed by the Gideons(but stolen by me) for 30 years in whatever i was driving, as a better, cheaper, ink cloud against cops than those 100club stickers.

          1. AndrewJ

            That sounds like practical advice. What do you have to know to back up a KJV on the passenger seat, in case a godbotherer in blue decides to give you a hasslin’?

          2. barefoot charley

            I was too young to be a beatnik, but I swiped motel Gideon KJVs to act like one On the Road. It’s hard to give them away, being unreadable and all (but doctrinally sound). I still enjoy the sound Thunk it gives when you scan it.

            I still check motel drawers for Gideons, out of habit if not solace. Not nearly so many as there used to be.

          3. Wukchumni

            Having a prop in the car that has caused so much distress, isn’t worth the price of a moving violation.

          1. A Guy in Washington DC

            A quick correction. The BATC brought in armored personel carriers (APCs, M-113s I think) not tanks. These are armored tracked vehicles but without big turrets. The Ukraine war has taught most people the difference. Now most cities use modern American wheeled armored truck give to them by the government for their SWAT teams.

            During one of the little joy rides around the Waco compound the BATF went to the grave of one of the people killed, did wheelies back-and-forth with the track and dug up the body from the shallow grave… and kept grinding. We don’t even do that in wartime. Koresh may have been half-crazy but he had his reasons for thinking he was facing the anti-Christ.

            On Amfortas’s use of the Bible to ward-off the police… I had a little window decal with a skull and two crossed hypodermics and the logo “Drugs. Mainline to the Grave”. Straight edge before there was straight edge.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Someone on Twitter was saying that the FBI Agent of the Year Award for 2023 will be shared by the Washington Post, the New York Times and Bellingcat.

        1. Questa Nota

          Memorialized as some star-like display, say, a cuff-link* etching, on the wall at Vauxhall Cross?

          *Mixing some Le Carré references ;)

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Company Plans to Ditch Human Workers in Favor of ChatGPT-Style AI”

    If ChatGPTs were used to replace the reporters of the main stream media, would we notice? More to the point, would it be a net positive or a net negative? I can see it now. An editor would list the bare bones facts and ask ChatGPT to come up with a story. By what facts are fed into it or are omitted, you could introduce the biases that you want in that story. Imagine the savings for such a method. Of course you would have to open up the Pulitzer prize for best ChatGPT reporter of the year but that would be OK.

    1. QuarterBack

      The next phase would be to replace all readers with AI. We could then have a closed loop where all news stories are written by AI that only AI is reading.

      Like Levi’s replacing its human models with AI models “to be more representative of those they serve” – what? Other AI?

      1. djrichard

        I was just making a related comment in the comments section to a Yahoo article that it won’t be long before the Yahoo comments section is filled with comments generated by AI. Some of it to try to dominate the conversation through whatever facts or convincing arguments can be mustered. The rest of it dominating through sheer numbers.

        And this will be in the comments section to articles that themselves are written by AI.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Being ChatGPT, it would just make up comments and sources out of wholecloth to show that their narrative is actually true. Maybe we should start calling ChatGPT as ChatBS.

          1. Wukchumni

            Despite learning the ropes at a tender age as a toddler, ShatGPT does all the unloading now, leaving me with virtual oodles of time to be productive and get shit done.

            1. ambrit

              Oh my. Now we have to deal with “Buffing a Chat” on top of all the other things we must do to remain in the good graces of “The System.”
              Hmmm…. would that qualify as “The Chatpot?”

        1. chris

          Yeah… I deal with restaurants a lot, and my family is involved with food and beverage distribution. This is exactly what I’m hearing anecdotally as well.

          The weirdest thing about all this is if you’re going to pick a spokesmodel to tie your brand too, why on earth would you ever pick that person? Whatever else that Dylan character is, they’re way too controversial with the core market for Bud. What possible data did these AB people think they had to support this decision?

          And on a side note…was there some kind of meeting that everyone in corporate America attended which said they had to elevate Dylan(tm)? He was a mediocre Broadway talent. He’s become a parody of a living person. With his latest surgery he resembles the puppet on that old TV show madame! But while he’s going along earning endorsements he’s elbowing others away from opportunities that he’s not qualified for. Like the gig where he interviewed the President? How did that happen?

      2. ambrit

        No, no, no. When the “narrative” falls apart, we just do as Saint Orwell counselled; we change the “narrative” and deny that anything has changed. For example: We have always used the pronoun “it” to describe the Covid unvaccinated.
        Also, the proper term is no longer “fired,” but “de-energized.”

        1. Wukchumni

          ‘Cap’n, we’re just about out of de-riskium crystals, suggest we use the ChatGPT drive.’

            1. ambrit

              “Curious Captain. These do not look like other Austrian Economists I’ve encountered in the past.”
              Reconstructed dialogue from the infamous Trek Star episode; “The Trouble With Trillions.”
              Very similar to plot themes used in episodes centered around the “adventures” of the slimy rogue Harry von Mises.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Stuff we mopes really, really need:

      Our own Butlerian Jihad,


      A full-on, regularly practiced Jubilee Year,

      Gonna happen? Probably not by intent. But most of “history” is not intentional.

      Wonder if the Coming Replacement World Order will feature either of these, or anything else of an eleemosynary or commensal bent, or just more of the same with a slight shuffle of the cast of actors? How good and strong are the soul of Russia and the managerialism of the CCP anyway?

      1. chris

        I think the only way we’ll ever hear about serious movement in government for Reparations is as a distraction from a debt Jubilee. The puppets will repeat that we can’t handle debt like that until we’ve completed Reparations, and that will crack apart any coalition for a debt Jubilee. But just like breaking the banks would actually do a lot to help with racism in the US, pols will whistle past all the problems that minorities have with debt in this country and claim a Jubilee wouldn’t be equitable.

        So unless there is some kind of revolution, I don’t think this will ever happen.

  7. KD

    Poland receives Zelensky and prepares direct intervention in Ukraine war

    Link connects to Ryan Grim tweet, and couldn’t find it on WSWS website with keyword “Poland” search.

  8. SocalJimObjects

    The link to Politico’s newsletter (perhaps there are other links):

    Talking about visiting China, “Emerging from the enormous recent wave of COVID infections, during which the government covered up millions of deaths, everyone seems physically and emotionally exhausted.”

    “At POLITICO, we have a basic commitment to our readers that we will not deceive them and will not allow press officers to change or retroactively “edit” what politicians tell us in formal interviews.”

    Ok, has Politico ever provided any proof of this so called millions of deaths?

    1. Questa Nota

      Venerable laser pointers, another tool, supplemented by treats and positive reinforcement. Not as effective as with dogs, but can be fun nonetheless.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Florida went under WATER! Heavy Flash Flooding in Fort Lauderdale, USA”

    Can’t help thinking that this is sort of a preview of what life will be like in southern Florida in the decades to come. The floods will appear more and more often while they will be slower and slower to drain away over time. There will come a point where this sort of flooding will become a new sort of norm though I do not know how people will be able to live there. Venice it won’t be. But if you get major storms hitting there, then all bets are off.

    1. Martin Oline

      It’s no preview, it is everyday life. The ground here is stone and sand and rainfall is not absorbed by the soil. It has to flow into the canals and rivers which doesn’t work well with shallow grades. If it rains faster than it drains then the water gets deeper, especially in urban areas that are paved. With a hurricane and the attendant tidal surge the water does not drain at all. Fort Lauderdale was entirely a rain event. I am not in a flood zone but had flood insurance for a few years when I first moved here. I have not had it for several years and the last time I checked flood insurance (besides the regular insurance) costs 60% of the home insurance.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Florida sitting on all that permeable limestone in south-eastern Florida really stuffs things up. You can’t build successful flood barriers as that water will simply come up beneath you and I have seen videos of this happening where the water is coming out the drains and not flood waters.

        1. britzklieg

          Yes. I understand that Miami called in water experts from The Netherlands only to be told there’s nothing to be done about the problem given the limestone.

    2. griffen

      Yet one more reason in my personal opinion to not own an EV as a sole vehicle choice. Imagine what a flooded Tesla will set you back! Some of the video of the local streets looked a little familiar, I had recently visited there in October 2022.

      1. Wukchumni

        It only takes driving through a few feet of standing water to do major damage to an ICE car, a kayak might be better.

        1. digi_owl

          Depends on the engine.

          A classical diesel with the air intake and exhaust routed to the roof should do just fine as once cranked it needs nothing electric to run.

          Petrol engines are a different story thanks to the spark plug requirement. Never mind a modern one that need constant computer supervision to stay within emission regs etc.

    3. Benny Profane

      I lived in West Palm for a few years, 80-82, and visited Lauderdale recently and was shocked at the buildup. At the time they were having flooding problems, and I thought, of course. Insane. When a good class 5 comes charging into the gold coast someday, and it will happen, maybe we’ll witness scenes like those dream fevers in Inception, with the high rise towers collapsing into the water.

    4. Mikel

      Between the rains in Cali and Florida, I’m looking at those flooded cars.

      Just when the prices of used cars are set to fall, buyer beware more than usual.

    5. some guy

      There should be a diffusely-organized movement throughout the country to help global warming realists move away from Florida and help global warming denialists move to Florida, specifically to help link up ” willing sellers- willing buyers” so that global warming denialists can buy land, houses, etc. in Florida from global warming realists in Florida hoping to afford to be able to leave Florida ahead the rising sea level and the rising raindump waterbomb events.

      Global warming deniers should be given every opportunity, and I mean EVERY opportunity, to live out the meaning of their beliefs.

  10. Aurelien

    The French Constitutional Council decision was pretty much expected: the Council wasn’t ask to decide on the merits of the law but only whether any part of it was incompatible with the Constitution, and it has historically been pretty reluctant to challenge governments on policy issues. Unfortunately, a lot of people had become very excited about the possibility that the Council would overturn the law, and very despondent and angry when it didn’t. There is another, separate, challenge under way, but at the end of the day it would be hard to argue that a law like this, whatever its acknowledged defects, actually violates any provision of the Constitution.

    Which leaves opponents unsure what to do now. The trades unions are meeting today, and have already said that 1 May should be a massive show of force against the law; It might well be, but the problem is that the law will by then be in force, and the government is not obliged to take any notice. There have been twelve days of actions and demonstrations against the law so far, all of them peaceful except for one about ten days ago, where there was some violence around the fringes. (People set fire to rubbish bins all the time.) So there is a real question about the value of more mass demonstrations and organised strikes. Meanwhile, the Left, which should be coordinating the opposition, is busy fighting among itself, and has been totally ineffective. The risk, as I’ve discussed in some of my recent Substack essays, is that frustration will undermine the efforts of the trades unions, and opposition will pass into the hands of local, uncoordinated groups, with the attendant risk of more violence, especially since there are reports of Black Blocs arriving from elsewhere in Europe. Things could get very rough over the next month or two, because there is a dangerous combination of despair, anger and helplessness in the air, with no obvious peaceful path to resolution of the problem.

    1. Aurelien

      It depends how much you trust journalists. It’s not unusual in many countries for governments to request a transcript of an interview, especially if it’s presented as that, and not just a few quotations here and there. Not only have I met plenty of journalists in my life who will twist things or even make them up, in Europe you are quite likely to find an Italian journalist interviewing a Portuguese Minister in English, for example, and there’s usually a need for a check of some kind. In my experience, any serious journalist who interviews you will want to make sure you are quoted correctly, and in every case I can remember when I was interviewed, the journalist contacted me and asked whether the quotes he wanted to use were accurate.

      1. some guy

        If I were famous enough to be interviewed, which I never will be, I would want protection against malicious disquoting and/or dis-contexting by the interviewing entity.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’d be having a recorder going in plain site on the desk to let the journalist know that there won’t be any funny business going on. Tell ’em its for the personal archives or something.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “China’s Car Buyers Have Fallen Out of Love With Foreign Brands”

    The New York Times does not mention it but perhaps another factor is that Chinese buyers being worried about spare parts for foreign brand cars. They have seen how foreign brand cars pulled out of Russia and leaving their customers in the lurch and since the US/EU has all but announced that they are going after China next, they may be worried that if they own a foreign brand and trouble starts, that trying to get spare parts and the like for them would become problematical. If I lived in China, I would be thinking along the same lines.

    1. Mikel

      Lots of countries with people with working brain cells are wondering about sustainability of suppy chains that exist to create a few trillionaires.

    2. digi_owl

      Tangential, but all this reminds me of some old Volvo commercial that kept harping on how using third party made parts for repairs would risk the reliability of the whole car.

  12. Wukchumni

    What a difference 730 days makes
    2 little years
    Brought more work and more hours
    Where there used to be much adieu to do

    My yesterday was blue, dear
    Today I can expect a pension when i’m 64, dear
    My retirement plans are through, dear
    Since Emmanuel said he needs mine

    What a difference 730 days makes
    There’s the end of a rainbow taken away from me
    Protests on the ground can be stormy
    Since that moment of dismiss, that Macron diss
    It’s not heaven when you find more work on your menu
    What a difference 730 days made
    And the difference is 2

    What a difference a day made, performed by Jamie Cullum

  13. antidlc

    Remarks by President Biden in Meet-and-Greet with Embassy Families and Firefighters

    MR. HUNTER BIDEN: In the back. He’s got a question.

    THE PRESIDENT: What’s your question?

    CHILD: What’s the top step to success?

    THE PRESIDENT: What’s the top what?

    CHILD: Step — steps — step to success.

    THE PRESIDENT: What’s the top step to succ- — to success?

    CHILD: Yes.

    THE PRESIDENT: Oh, well, making sure that we don’t all have COVID. What — why — what are we talking about here?

    CHILD: Like —

    MR. HUNTER BIDEN: If you can — what’s the — what’s the key to success?

    THE PRESIDENT: Oh, what’s the key to success? You know what I found out is the key to success is? And I’m not sure I’m the best guy to explain it; these guys can tell you.

    The key to success is whenever you disagree with someone, it’s okay to question their judgment — whether they’re right or wrong — but it’s never okay to question their motive. If you question their motive, then you never get to be able to agree.

    Here is a video:

    1. griffen

      Mumbled rantings from a senile member of a rest home community, or supposed free leader of the world. Hard to choose which, honestly.

      The key to success. Mama always said just be sure to leave the house with clean underwear.

      1. earthling

        Well yes, Biden is a mess who should not be where he is. Still, the question was more than a little odd, if not nonsensical, so I don’t think anyone would give a brilliant response. “What’s the top step to success?” ??

        1. griffen

          I was just picking on the low hanging fruit as presented, but he could alternately just channel the winner circle speech from Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. If you’re not first you’re last!

          That precocious child should have asked an easier question, like what tree is his favorite or just how much ice cream does the President get to eat. If it were me, I would tell the child to be sure to conquer your enemies and hear the lamentations of their women but that is from Conan the Barbarian.

        2. ambrit

          And, once you get to that “top step to success,” what do you do next; float up to heaven or stumble and fall to your Doom?

          1. griffen

            Once firmly at the top, wear pointy boots to kick down the plebes and minions and generally lower classes trying to climb behind you. See, kids, you really can get to the top and make sure no one else will climb as high! \sarc

            Oh and one final point, being at the top in Congress means trading stocks the live long day or being in the Supreme Court means you might find really nice friends who take you on really nice trips.

    2. Wukchumni

      Even when you put Joey in front of a cloistered audience that in theory seems pretty damned safe, he still managed to screw the pooch punt.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      In response to a child:

      THE PRESIDENT: …What — why — what are we talking about here?

      I’d say the parallels to “The Emperor’s New Clothes” are getting too real to ignore:

      So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

      “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

      “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

      “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

      The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Fox News likes to taunt Biden for not having press conferences. Good politics, I suppose, but I don’t want Biden giving live press conferences. The guy’s always had the tendency to brag and bluster, but now he’s got angry old man syndrome on top of it. Staff has already had to bail him (and us) out a couple of times when his reckless remarks risked escalating our already escalating tensions with just about everybody.

        Let Tory Nuland do the talking. She’s more the real President anyway.

      1. Pat

        Hey I wonder every day why Hunter Biden isn’t in prison. But since the Democratic leadership and their media toadies chose to pretend that what he was revealed to have done wasn’t corruption and criminal why shouldn’t he accompany his father and look for more business opportunities in foreign countries.

        Frankly the Trump kids actually put up a better front of running businesses than either Joe’s son or his brother did. And since that was going on long before Trump was elected the vapors from the Dem have been hypocritical on a level rarely seen.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Hence not going after Trump on emoluments. Hits too close to liberal Democrat corruption and graft. So they went after him on specious stuff.

        2. Procopius

          Hunter wasn’t required to do anything illegal. In fact, he wasn’t required to do anything at all except take his salary. The point the oligarch who own(ed) Burisma was showing his enemies that he had connections; power; the ability to call on important people. Hunter’s presence on the board of directors was sufficient by itself, and IIRC Hunter was at that time on a long binge of hookers and blow, so he probably didn’t do anything illegal (other than hookers and blow, which are illegal most places except the Netherlands).

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Pompeo won’t run for president in 2024”

    That’s a damn shame. In other news, the Doomsday Clock goes back a full ten minutes.

  15. Mark Gisleson

    Techdirt lost its marbles over Russiagate years ago and despite still offering great tech/privacy coverage, they routinely cross over into Maddowesque recriminations and accusations.

    They are now suggesting that Substack has become a Nazi bar.

    Masnick seems quite sane in most other regards and I have come to see this as a connectivity problem. He or someone involved with his site is connected to some govt insiders who are fearmongering their butts off. Nazi bar analogies are toxic and grossly unwarranted, the kind of specious argument you use when you don’t think your enemies are fully human.

    Back in the ’90s when conservatives did this, it was called eliminationism. It’s a simple concept and one the neoliberals appear to have embraced. They can refuse to see actual Nazis/Banderites in Ukraine, but have no trouble deducing the presence of Nazis lurking behind the scenes of any social media platform not kowtowing to Dip State’s agenda du jour.

    1. Benny Profane

      Wow. The entire rant is based on speculation, not actual “hate speech” that Substack has helped publish. It could have easily been shut down with Elon’s response to the lying BBC “journalist”. Show me one example. Oh, it’s in the future in your head? Seek help.

    2. Aurelien

      I have pretty much given up on Masnik, and was about to delete him from my RSS feed anyway. He’s always had this mulish refusal to admit that the internet can ever, ever have negative effects on anybody except when they say things he doesn’t like. He didn’t say a word during all the attacks and massacres in Europe a few years ago that were coordinated and facilitated through social media, and according to him the only censorship problems are those created by right-wing fanatics in the US. When he started calling Musk a “free speech absolutist” I gave up.

      There are some strange authoritarian tendencies revealed on technology sites at the moment. Another irritant is John Gruber, who used to run an excellent site devoted to Apple but has been straying more and more into things he doesn’t understand: over Covid for example. He’s recently taken to gloating over every rumour of setbacks to Musk’s business activities.

  16. SteveD

    RE: Boeing delaying 737 MAX deliveries because of a component manufactured with a ‘non-standard’ process, that “is not an immediate safety of flight issue”….

    the affected fittings, which are used to hold the vertical tail stabiliser in place.

    Nope. That doesn’t sound like something that could affect ‘safety of flight’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In the aviation world, having bits fall off the plane in mid-flight is generally frowned upon.

    2. Paradan

      they said immediate, it takes a couple hours of flight time for it to loosen-up enough for the vertical stabilizer to separate from the airframe.

      besides, on a two engine aircraft, you dont really need the vertical stabilizer, the copilot can just play with the throttles to keep the plane going in a straight line.

    3. digi_owl

      That MAX has become such a disaster for Boeing. All because they wanted to game the pilot certification rules.

  17. Benny Profane

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but nowhere in the Pilkington/Morland interview is availability of fresh water mentioned, in a time when the Great Salt Lake is predicted to be almost extinct in less than a decade, and Lake Mead is practically a dead pool. And that’s just us. China isn’t exactly drenched in fresh water, either.

  18. Carolinian

    That’s an interesting solar panel/Construction Physics link and I look forward to Part 2. The article gives the history of solar energy > electricity (going back to the 19th century!) and says these panels have now become the cheapest form of renewable energy. At first they were very expensive because mainly used for orbiting satellites where they had to be perfect. The terrestrial versions can be much cheaper.

    1. heresey101

      A detailed breakdown of electricity source costs and resulting carbon intensity is at:
      Wind & Solar Power Now The Clear Champions On Cost

      Exactly 20 years ago when we had our electric renewable RFP, we couldn’t go for solar because utility scale solar was $185/MWh compared to the mid $20’s/MWh today. We went for wind and landfill gas energy in the mid $50’s/MWh. Both of those were cheaper than coal which was soon to be an illegal source of electricity in California.

      Fossil fuels will be mostly gone by 2030 because they can’t compete on cost. For peaking power (need to fill short periods of lack of resources), combustion turbines (jet engines bolted to a generator) are being replaced by electric batteries because they are instantaneous and can last for a couple of hours.

      1. some guy

        When solar panels and batteries and so forth and so on can all be made without having to use fossil fuels to make them, to mine and refine the raw materials which go into making them, etc., then fossil fuels will have a much smaller market.

      2. digi_owl

        Speaking of batteries, there were recently a story about a town in Finland installing a sand filled silo as a heat battery of sorts.

        This based on the thinking that most of the ongoing power needs are for heating, and so when there is excess power generation it can be used to heat the sand. Then said heat can be transferred to buildings when there is a shortfall in electrical generation relative to heating needs.

        And i have also read about a similar concept using pillars of concrete run through with pipes. Supposedly the concrete can store enough heat to produce steam.

  19. Wukchumni

    “Anti-woke” Bud Light knockoff is $35 for a six-pack Boing Boing
    If I wanted beer @ exorbitant prices i’d rather go to a concert or sporting event…

    1. griffen

      Marketing ploy 101, publicity stunt first then get to the intricate details of actually making the beer that anti woke Americans will drink. I ain’t paying that much for a six pack of anything, darn it !

      Sporting events. Apparently after opening their new stadium in Atlanta, team owner Arthur Blank has figured out an easy to grasp concept. Charge less exorbitant prices for concessions, and people might actually spend a little more than otherwise. All the beer sales must be necessary, to help the fans cope with how the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons have done recently, I’d think.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Fun fact: For years, baseball has cut off ballpark beer sales at the end of the 7th inning, but with the new rules speeding up the game, beer sales have fallen off. So, in the spirit of capitalism, they are looking at extending sales into the 8th inning.

      The 18th Amendment crowd opposes because more fights.

      Can’t confirm, but rumor has it that Milwaukee was the first to “panic.”

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Active tuberculosis reported at Oxnard Amazon facility”

    I’m sure that when Amazon found out, that they made a makeshift barrier around the infected worker using large cardboard bins and told all the workers to go back to work.

    1. timbers

      Probably a stretch of tape attached to the floor. As long as you stay inside the tape margin, you’re safe. Now if Amazon can get ahold of the building specs of that factory that collapsed in Bangladesh and unify local building codes across America – or better yet the entire world – Jeff Bezos can finally live the good life he deserves. As Nance would tell you over ice cream “We’re a Capitalist nation after all.”

  21. timbers

    Woke Watch

    “Anti-woke” Bud Light knockoff is $35 for a six-pack Boing Boing (resilc)

    Yesterday I learned a new woke term. One of them/they members on our Quality Control team was described by another member of that team as “non binary.” The entire QC team appears to Human eyes to be 100% female. Thus all came up when someone brought up a case in Massachusetts when a job candidate used the term “ladies” while speaking with a they/them of the company, who declined to extend a job offer on the ground that use of the word “ladies” = “micro-aggression.” You learn something new everyday.

    1. ambrit

      The ‘declined’ job applicant probably is better off not subjecting him, her, or itself to the “macro-aggressions” that the ‘compliant’ hiring apparatchik presaged in it’s rigidly formulaic world view.
      One interesting aspect of the “pronoun wars” is that it seems to be removing honourifics from public discourse. We are now all equally subservient to the Elites, but, by design, secretly.

      1. timbers

        Well “micro aggression” is not illegal but age discrimination is coded as illegal by law. This strikes me as potential age discrimination because folks his age were taught this words are polite and respectful.

        1. some guy

          Too bad AARP does not have a Lawfare Combat division, or they could look into that as a case to be taken.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”…use of the word “ladies” = “micro-aggression.”

      Here are two current definitions of micro-aggressions:

      “Microaggression is a term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.”

      “Indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.”

      Note that important word “unintentional” in both. Although intent is a foundation of law, that doesn’t matter to the woke crowd. If one slips up, one is guilty, no chance to make amends or apologies.

      And here’s a good one from the Harvard Business Review:

      Don’t misunderstand the URL. The writer is actually advocating that the term be replaced by something more severe, presumably “macro-aggressions”.

      The money quote: “…researchers found that experiencing what we know as microaggressions can be just as harmful, if not more, than more overt forms of racism.”

      We’ve been warned. Micro-aggressions are just as bad, perhaps worse, than overt racism or sexism. Whether the transgression was intentional or not. So as a member of the “non-woke” community I am expected to read the minds of the wokesters and respect their sensitivities with sometimes no idea what those sensitivities are.

      1. some guy

        Micro-aggression looks to me like a fake concept invented to use against the target to extort displays of public self-humiliation from that target.

        I would hope that if someone falsely and maliciously accuses me of committing a micro-aggression, that I could respond with a puriified essence of Gilbert Gottfried attitude.

        ” Oh! Oh! Did I just micro-aggressionize against you? Are you micro-offended? I am so very micro-sorry! Please accept my micro-apology in the spirit micro-intended.”

  22. ambrit

    I have it on good authority that a single shot of Patron tequila will set you back $15 USD at a bar now. Cheap beer is now going for $1.50 USD a can, not even a proper glass bottle.
    “Anti-woke” Bud Light is properly used in beer bongs, and nothing else.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Last time a saw beer @ $1.50 was at a VFW, almost 20 years ago

      Very difficult to find any kind of “Duff” for less than $5 per serving in my neck of the woods.

      1. Wukchumni

        The first time I went to Prague in the 1990’s, we arrived at the airport and were waiting for friends, so we went to the bar and 1/2 liter of Pilsner Urquel was a princely 71 Cents, they hadn’t gotten the airport gouge notice apparently…

        My nephew picked us up and I explained the miracle beer @ the airport, and he shrugged it off, relating that a 1/2 liter only cost 25 Cents at his local bar.

        Prague was a whet dream for a budget beer drinker once upon a time, lemme tellya.

        1. Wukchumni


          I was going through passport control and the official was banging away at his computer and mentioned ‘your parents come here quite a bit’ and I nodded with approval, and he uttered 2 words that still resonate today, as he handed my passport back to me and said:

          ‘Welcome Home’

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        getting this here kegerater has paid for itself many times over in the around 2 years ive had it.
        id hafta run the numbers again…but something like 50 cents per 12 oz can-equivilent of shiner bock.
        during winter, when its too cold at the Wilderness Bar, and i do my beer guzzling in the little greenhouse, i use stainless steel thermoses.

      3. Questa Nota

        With patience and coupon research, one thirsty person can find a half-rack of a popular non-ABInbev or other conglomerate beer for a little more than $1 a bottle.
        Try a Sam Adams if that is to your taste, and feel patriotic, too!

        1. GF

          The last time driving through Jerome AZ we stopped at the Spirit Room Bar and they have PBR cans for $1. It was a Saturday afternoon and it included a decent rock band to boot.

    2. IM Doc

      Here in my Blue Hive, I had occasion to visit two grocery stores in the past few days. In both cases, the Budweiser and Bud Light cans were plentiful as if they have never been touched. The Miller Lite and Coors areas were empty. Clerks in both stores, when asked, stated they had not sold a can or bottle of either Bud in 2 weeks.

      A local bartender is my patient. He informed me basically the same thing. Absolutely no one is ordering either one. They have cut their next shipment to just bare bones level.

      Multiple dozens of working class family members on Facebook are expressing their sentiments in all kinds of ways. They seem to very serious and entrenched in their disdain. Every single one. I am no expert, but my feeling is this may be a much bigger issue for AB than they realize.

      Another acquaintance, a former Ivy League MBA professor, told me that this fiasco may very well rival or even exceed the New Coke disaster from the 1980s. It will be taught for generations as an object lesson in what NOT to do. He was also very thankful that the marketing VP is not one of his. “It will be a disgrace for Harvard Business where she is from”.

      His concern is the woke elite have so separated themselves from reality that they actually thought this would work.

      As for the blue hive sales problems – ANYONE who thought the wokester PMC class would step up to the plate to buy that Budweiser swill to compensate for the sales loss of the working man and “make a statement” is a complete moron.

      The company may be damaged beyond repair.

      1. flora

        The parent company Anheuser-Busch’s stock lost $5 billion or 4 percent in value since the ad campaign rollout.

        They may recover. Or not.

          1. chris

            Budvar, the Czech ur beer that Budweiser is derived from in spirit (allegedly) is delicious. I can’t think of anyone who drinks Bud enjoying Budvar. No need to worry about the can :)

        1. Pat

          Just picked the first article that I got to find out with this was about. You’ll be happy to know that Vox assures everyone this is nothing, no one at AB is worried and the one liquor store owner they talked to in Alabama said he had only seen a 25% drop and figured it would all be back to normal by next month.

          I may think this is overkill, but I do think that the PMC underestimate how bad transgender rights is going over. And I say that as a long term lefty early abortion rights and gay rights advocate, who has found myself telling people that I will work against most of this as it is actively destructive to womens rights. And I am not alone people I talk to about this sort of thing.

          (I am enjoying the heck out of every failure to boycott, or to eradicate JK Rowling or at least make her hide her ownership from all things Harry Potter. If things work that way for the woke agenda in this beergate, AB will be doing a whole lot of backtracking and even apologizing in 5…4…3…)

          1. Carolinian

            Apparently their particular choice of a Trans spokesperson was a very bigger mistake. Seems part of his/her shtick is making fun of women?

            1. IM Doc

              I would not say he makes fun of women. I would say his entire persona is profoundly misogynistic.

              I will give him this much – he has the Audrey Hepburn “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” look down pat. In still photos, you can almost hear “Moon River, wider than a mile……” going in the background. When the video rolls, though, the beard and chest hair become apparent and he starts in with the behavior of a combination of Jack and Karen on Will & Grace. Except he does it as if they were on crystal meth.

              I am old. Not once, not even once, have I ever had a woman in my life act like that. Not once. It is patently offensive to the respect I have for all the women in my life. If we are forbidden to do blackface, which I agree we should not be doing, we should also be forbidden to do womanface as well. Except again, he does tweaked out womanface.

              This is a form of Gnosticism. The western world has had this bubble up many many times in the past. Gnosticism is a life style where everything is all about the inner you. “Inner truth and lived experience”. It is all that matters. Those who disagree are not only wrong but must have no influence on your inner self or tranquility. Your truth is the supreme truth no matter how detached from reality. This attract those among us who are narcissist or borderline like flypaper. It is the foundation of many cults – for it is cult like behavior. Scientology, Oneida, and heavens gate are just some examples.

              The real danger is when Gnosticism gets taken up into the political system of the day. This does not happen very often as it mostly burns out. But when it does, it can become its most extreme and exhibit Manacheist tendencies. “We are always right. Everything we say is 100% correct. Anyone that disagrees with a scintilla of what we say should be disappeared.” There is only black and white – no grey. This ends in buckets of blood or a wrecked economy/culture or both. The last great convulsion that was a forme fruste of Gnositicism gone wrong was the Cultural Revolution. We all know how that ended.

              Are we there yet? Have we crossed the threshold? Who knows? But this is the reason why I am internally hoping this Bud Light thing is the start of the pushback. Hopefully, the pushback will come before permanent damage is done.

              I am not against trans IN ADULTS. LEAVE KIDS ALONE. I am against the way our society is handling it now.

              1. skippy

                Whilst I agree with some of your thrust I disagree with your notion that Gnosticism is the root of all ills because to some it distracts the flock from the path. Not to mention its anti intellectual at onset because holy word can never be questioned.

                I would note that it is curious to note a man of your stature and moral/ethical forbearance in the discharge of your skills is now finding the reality discomforting. I say that with nothing but respect for your devotion to your work in medical anything. Vetted you through the old family when covid stuff was happening e.g. you are the family doctor everyone wants and are OT about it.

                I would only add from my own experience/knowledge that some beliefs can give will, where there is none, yet at the same time can blind some to the obvious going on around them.

          2. Objective Ace

            I don’t think this had much to do with transgender rights. People just don’t like having things they don’t understand or agree with thrust in their face.

            If the avoaco brunch place all the liberals frequented started an advertising campaign with a bunch of redecks in plaid button ups holding their guns you would expect the exact same type of outrage and boycotts

      2. Questa Nota

        New Coke, now only in private collections, but not sure about the Smithsonian. ;)

        One added reason I’d heard for that unusual change was purportedly to make the transition from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup. Lower long-term costs, more stable supply chain, after some short-term sales hiccup, increased stock valuation, bonuses all around. Never mind the weight gains and inflammation.

        The sugar Coke is available locally as Mexican Coke.

      3. Mikel

        “The Miller Lite and Coors areas were empty. Clerks in both stores, when asked, stated they had not sold a can or bottle of either Bud in 2 weeks.”

        Miller Lite and Coors companies are very quietly walking to the bank.

      4. GiGi

        “His concern is the woke elite have so separated themselves from reality that they actually thought this would work”.

        Ya think?

        “The beer executive was educated at the $60,000-per-year Groton School in Massachusetts before going on to Harvard where she studied English literature and then business school at Wharton where she took a master’s degree in marketing.”

  23. Wukchumni

    Former President Donald Trump crowned himself as “the most pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment president” in the nation’s history. “I will be your loyal friend and fearless champion once again as the 47th president of the United States,” he told the crowd, pledging to create a new tax credit to reimburse teachers “for the full cost of a concealed-carry firearm,” as well as gun training “from highly-qualified experts.”
    When I was a lad in school, students still occasionally brought an apple for the teacher, but its different now and I get it.

    What caliber ammo would be most appropriate now, in lieu of the forbidden fruit that could have a razor blade hidden within?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “When I was a lad”

      I’m just hankering for some Gilbert & Sullivan after reading that.

      Gilbert and Sullivan would not be at all surprised to see a “jumped-up congressional staffer” become Secretary of State.

      I thought so little they rewarded me
      by making me the ruler of the King’s navy.

      I’ve Got a Little List” seems contemporary as well.

      (So is the problem bureaucracy more than neoliberalism?)

    2. digi_owl

      I do wonder how many a teacher has daydreamed about putting a couple rounds into a class troublemaker.

        1. digi_owl

          I ran into the claim once that most psychology students are people with undiagnosed issues trying to figure themselves out…

  24. bassmule

    Electric Car Security Issues. From AAA, of all places. Short answer: Hell yes, they can be!

    “Because electric vehicles contain chips and software that control their batteries, cruise control systems and braking, they are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can also launch attacks when the owners of electric vehicles plug them into chargers. Electric vehicles also communicate wirelessly with Wi-Fi networks and with apps that their drivers have installed on their phones. This combination leaves these vehicles open to malicious attacks by skilled hackers.”

    Can Electric Cars Be Hacked?

    1. Carolinian

      Apparently Tesla owners are required to be connected to headquarters at all times for monitoring and to receive updates. This alone would cause me to never buy one.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I interviewed at a startup in Boston once, they did mobile telematics for vehicles, for insurance companies and I’m not sure who else. Felt deeply disturbing honestly. This was at least 5 years ago. This stuff is sadly pretty mainstream even without a Tesla.

        Someday we won’t have a choice I wager.

  25. Mikel

    “Report: Crypto Is A Scam! UPDATE: We Were Wrong, Everyone Buy Crypto!…”

    I needed that chuckle.
    Even with all the scams coming to light, that will be an epic fleecing.
    But according to the NY Times it’s “The End of Faking It In Silicon Valley.”

    Something that caught my attention more than the long list of start-up fraud going on:
    “…Investors are increasingly asking consultants like RHR International to help identify the telltale signs of “Machiavellian narcissists” who are more likely to commit fraud, said Eden Abrahams, a partner at the firm. “They want to tighten up the protocols around how they’re assessing founders,” Abrahams said. “We had a series of events which should be prompting reflections…”

    To be a fly on the wall. How does that even work? And who analyzes the consutant firm for any Machiavellian narcissists?

    And this:
    “…When Javice was trying to sell her college financial planning startup, Frank, to JPMorgan Chase, she told an employee not to share exactly how many people used Frank’s service, according to an SEC complaint. Later, she asked the employee to fabricate thousands of accounts, assuring her staff that such a move was legal and that no one would end up in “orange jumpsuits,” the complaint said….”

    So what was the pitch? “It’s Wells Fargo, but with an app.”

  26. semper loquitur

    20-pound rodents with big orange teeth, rat-like tails, and no necks are wreaking havoc in the US and landing on ‘most unwanted’ lists

    A large invasive species that resembles a beaver is damaging ecosystems in over a dozen US states.

    Nutria, native to South America, were introduced to the US in the late 1800s for their fur.

    The aquatic rodents has since spread, destroying wetlands and threatening flood infrastructure.


    1. ambrit

      Egads indeed. Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, the place directly to the west of New Orleans has had a group of sharpshooters that go out the odd night and spotlight and shoot nutria along the drainage canals in Metairie and environs.
      And no, nutria do not taste like chicken.

      1. semper loquitur

        Have you tasted it? I was thinking the same thing, about eating them.

        Ragondin à l’Orange
        Recipe by Chef Philippe Parola


        Mire Poix
        1/3 cup chopped celery
        1/3 cup chopped carrots
        1/3 cup chopped onion

        2 hind saddle portions of nutria meat
        1/2 cup brown sugar
        1 cup orange juice
        2 Tbsp vegetable oil

        Bouquet Garni
        1 bunch fresh thyme
        1 bunch parsley
        bay leaves

        2 cups white wine
        1 Tbsp soy sauce
        Orange zest minced
        Salt and pepper to taste

        Place oil, mire poix and bouquet garni in a pan; set aside. Rub each hind saddle with brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Place hing saddles on top of other ingredients in pan. Place, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

        Remove from oven and deglaze with white wine, soy sauce and orange juice. Cover pan with plastic wrap, the cover again with aluminum foil. Place back into oven for 45 minutes to one hour until meat is tender. Break meat off bones. Place on plate then garnish with vegetables, sauce from pan drippings, and orange zest. Makes 4 servings.

        “hind saddle”

        1. ambrit

          Nutria is quite “gamy” in flavour. Perhaps a good match with wild pig or old buck deer venison.
          It is indeed all in the preparation. I would counsel marinating it overnight in something like real beer or jalapenyo pepper mash.
          When Ye Jackpot arrives, anything and everything will be come “fair game.” {I personally will draw the line at ‘Long Pig,’ but that is but a relic of my Humanities orientation. [I somehow do not envision myself authoring a tome on “Meditations on Eating Marcus Aurelius.”]}
          When all is said and done, cooked nutria sounds a lot like something CMOT Dibbler would peddle.

      2. griffen

        Away we go down the virtual recall rabbit hole! Demolition Man, where the cryogenics have managed to maintain both our hero and our villain on ice, only to awaken much later to a new metropolis of self awareness, and (supposedly) understanding and some kindness for one another. And a bland new metropolis at that.

        Once they venture into the underworld, Stallone’s character finds a vendor cooking meat. My guess is the cerveza he drinks is a help in washing down the rat burger. Fiction first, reality follows? But in today’s world, it better be a non-woke brand of cerveza. Be Well !

      3. IM Doc

        Eating pests……

        The lion fish that plague almost every location in the Caribbean are constantly harvested and are actually very tasty.

        I have had a bite of nutria only once in my life. If you can imagine the worst game meat taste and multiply by 100, that may be adequate to describe the experience.

        I guess for the information of the WEF crowd, nutria may be more palatable than cockroaches. But just barely.

          1. ambrit

            I hear there is an interesting “foreign” book that shows how to do that properly: “To Serve Man.”

    2. B24S

      And they’re a plague in the Bay Area Sacramento R./San Juaquin R. Delta as well. A not new, but rather serious issue hereabouts the last several decades, as they dig their holes in the levees, which leak, then erode and collapse, letting it all flow which way it will.

      I think they’re doing the right thing in Jeff. Parish, yes I do.

      1. Revenant

        Nutria, a.k.a. coypu, became a problem in the UK (canals and rivers, especially in flat wetlands in the East like the Fens and Norfolk Broads). One of the first television programmes I remember watching as a child was the Open University course on Zoology module where they trap and dissect them! (UK television only ran between news lunchtime and afternoon tea and dinner time and late supper, similar times to the pubs but for ‘Er Indoors: the rest of Tims, it was either not broadcasting, showing the test card or devoted to educational programming for schools and distance learning degrees).

        They escaped from fur farms. They have Ben eradicated after a fifty year war. The OU taught us well!

  27. B24S

    Regarding Rail accidents, there’s been an “incident” just north of NYC, on the western shore of the Hudson. A CSX train has been reported as leaving a path of fires in its’ wake, through three towns, Stony Point, Haverstraw, and Congers, which is five or six miles from our stone house in the woods (and there’s a LOT of woods there). Living in California these last fifty years, I don’t expect eastern forests to burn like I do western ones, but…

    There are reports the train was “scraping”, or grinding, the tracks, spraying sparks across dry brush. Luckily no major injuries, or even structures, as far as I can tell. CSX says they can find no evidence of problems on their rolling stock.

    I love listening to them in the middle of the night, as they whistle and rattle off into the quiet. I’ll be hearing them a little differently from now on.

  28. Mike

    RE: Baroque, Purple, and Beautiful: In Praise of the Long, Complicated Sentence LitHub (Anthony L)

    I am reminded of a… shall we say oververbose email signature I once created, to whit:

    The specious capriciousness loquaciously disseminated by oligarchically organized purveyors of punditry highlights dangerously stultifying illogicality, frighteningly supportive to perennially pugnacious imperialistically-inclined practitioners justifying rapaciousness.

    Moral- they may win all the battles, and might let us finish this sentence!

    1. britzklieg


      And not specific to your comment but it reminded me of the lyrics to anotherTom Lehrer song – The Folk Song Army:

      We are the folk song army, everyone of us cares
      We all hate poverty, war and injustice, unlike the rest of you squares

      There are innocuous folk songs, but we regard them with scorn
      the folks who sing ’em have no social conscience, why,
      they don’t even care if Jimmy crack corn

      If you feel dissatisfaction,
      strum your frustrations away
      some people may prefer action, but,
      give me a folk song any old day

      The tune don’t have to be clever
      and it don’t matter if you put a couple extra syllables into a line
      It sounds more ethnic if it ain’t good English
      And it don’t even gotta rhyme… excuse me: rhyne!

      Remember the war against Franco?
      That’s the kind where each of us belongs
      Though he may have won all the battles
      We had all the good songs!

      So join in the folk song army!
      Guitars are the weapons we bring
      To the fight against poverty, war, and injustice
      Ready, aim, sing!

    1. The Rev Kev

      That must explain why organizations like JPMorgan are trying to force their people back to the office. The banks are getting on their case.

    2. Objective Ace

      Did the banks actually keep these now vacant office building on their books? I thought their MO was to dump them on a European schmuck or pension fund like the did CDOs

      1. tegnost

        they’re writing off the tax loss while waiting for uncle sugar to buy their junk at par?

  29. chris

    Hello Commentariat, I have a friend who is interested in starting the ex pat journey. I know this has been a topic of conversation on here from time to time. Does any one have websites or resources they can recommend? Thanks in advance.

    1. Pat

      Well Liz does have to try to remain relevant now that Wyoming has told her she didn’t represent them and to get the heck out of Congress. Mind you that does raise the question does Liz and daddy Dick still have security clearances, and if so why?
      I also would really love to know if Cheney pere and fille are appalled by Greene or by the idea that someone might leak the reality behind their faux accomplishments? Dick might feel safe as it has been two decades and only a few of us still want the son of a b***** publicly executed. But the January 6 bull is ongoing and we may be getting closer and closer to the day when someone releases the relevant documents that show that FBI was behind the bombs and Congressional leadership were behind the shut down of ordinary security that left the Capitol exposed to rioters. (Because it had to be someone, and if it were the White House there would have been days of testimony about those orders instead of hand waving and crickets.)

  30. Carolinian

    I’m surprised nobody has commented on the feral hog article from Texas Monthly–journalism at its best.

    I haven’t kept up with the situation but there has been a wild hog infestation in Western North Carolina and the Smokies that was quite damaging, especially to the park which is a world heritage site with an abundance of rare species.

      1. ambrit

        Hey cher! Obelex’s cousin Americaine, Obelcheaux, is right there and itching to get on the job!
        Call les Chasseurs Acadiens and it shall be done with elan.

    1. Paradan

      If we hadn’t given all our artillery rounds to Ukraine we wouldn’t have a feral hog problem!

    2. Bart Hansen

      Texan hunters must be asleep on the job to kill the hogs. Looking back, our ancestors wiped out far more passenger pigeons than the 3-4 million hogs. And they nearly killed all the bisons, all without AR-15 types of weapons.

  31. JBird4049

    With the warning that my understanding of the current situation in that area is nil, I would think that neither Finland or Estonia truly want to annoy the Russian Bear. Whatever people say, the American Eagle ain’t going to save them if they act stupid enough to get invaded.

    But invading two small, non-threatening, and intact countries would give Russia heartburn as well as creating the very dangers to Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Soviets did invade Finland at the start of the Second World War, ostensibly to get some extra territory for protecting Leningrad, but while they did win the war, it was an unpleasant experience for them. Remember that it is the foolish who start wars expecting them to go as expected.

    But common sense and human decency seems to lacking in much of the area and what do I know? My government probably is trying really hard to expand the whole war anyways.

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